Aylene Christensen was born August 9, 1927 in the family home in Benjamin, Utah. Her parents were Charles Arlynn Hickman and Delta Larsen Hickman. She was the baby of the family with two older brothers and two older sisters. Her mother passed away at age 39 when Aylene was a young girl. Her father remarried when Aylene was 15. She met Lynn Christensen in high school and they became very close friends. They both graduated from Spanish Fork High School in 1945, just when World War II ended. For one year after graduaton she stayed at home and helped her step-mother care for the home, as her step-mother had been injured in a car accident.
In May 1946 her father surprised her, telling her she was leaving the next morning for California with her Aunt Shirley and Grandma Hickman to visit her brothers and sisters for a vacation. Aylene and Lynn wrote to each other twice a week while she was there. On her birthday, August 9, 1946, Lynn showed up at her sister's door with a diamond engagement ring. She wanted to go get married that day, but Lynn said he wanted to marry her in the temple. There was not yet a temple in California. About a month later, her sister Ardy and her husband Fred brought Aylene back to Benjamin where she prepared for their wedding. She and Lynn were married in the Salt Lake Temple on October 15, 1946. They will be married for 69 years this fall. As Aylene said, "Our marriage is eternal and still goes on." (Lynn passed away July 9, 2011.)
When their first child was a year old, the Deseret News had a contest to write about a dream. Aylene entered and won the contest. Aylene and Lynn experienced their first airplane ride to Daytona Beach, Florida, and enjoyed a 10-day honeymoon, which they had never been able to take because of the busy farm work. An aunt tended their baby while they were gone.
Aylene and Lynn have two boys and two girls: Delta Lyn (Dennis) Stacey, Ohio; Casey H. (Margie), Florida; Vern Reece (Vickie), Park City; Loralyn "Lolli", Park City (the kids nicknamed her Lolli because she liked lollipops). They have 20 grandchildren, one has passed away, and 40 great grandchildren and counting.
Growing up, Aylene worked on the farm and at the Del Monte Canning Factory during the summer time. After she married and their kids were in school, she went to BYU [Brigham Young University] in the nursing program. The demand for nurses was great, and before graduation she was hired by Dr. Milo C. Moody and worked for him for 15 years until he retired. She worked for Dr. Robert Frampton for three years, then she went to Intermountain Health Care and worked another five years. After 23 years of nursing, she retired from IHC to be with her sister, who was dying of cancer.
Growing up she remembers her father buying a season family ticket for six to the Arrowhead Swimming Pool in Benjamin, just down the street from her house. She went swimming every day except Sunday in the summer. After moving to her current home on the pond, Aylene sometimes swam across the pond to visit her brother and sister, who lived next door to each other on the other side of the pond.
For seven years Lynn and Aylene lived in his father's old two-room house. It was nice and cozy. But two children helped them grow out of it. Then Lynn built a new home on their farm which is on the west side of Salem along the highway. They lived in this home for 27 years. Then Lynn let Aylene design her dream home on a piece of ground that he developed, with a pond all around it. They named the street "Chrisman Drive", a combination of Lynn's surname and Aylene's surname. She loves taking care of her yard, saying it is therapy for her. She loves flowers, as you can see from her yard.
Lynn and Aylene were Salem Family of the Year in August 1998. She has helped with the production of several Salem Days Pageants. She especially remembers the "Show Boat" productions. She reads a lot and when Lynn was ill she would read to him every day. She has enjoyed teaching Gospel Doctrine and many other classes as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. They served a mission at the Orlando Florida Temple for 18 months, and worked in the Provo Temple for five years. She is a beautirul artist. Her home is adorned with many of her paintings. Lynn served for two terms on the Salem City Council. Lynn had health issues after suffering a heart attack at age 45 (1972). Lynn continued to work hard for many years after and felt some better each year. As their daughter, Lolli, worked for Delta Airlines, Aylene and Lynn were able to travel to many places all over the world, spending a week at a time.
She remembers the first LDS ward in Salem with wonderful eople. Now there are thousands more beautiful people that have moved to Salem. On ward after another has grown in Salem. The citizens have made Salem a wonderful place to live and be around. She loves them because of how well they raise their kids with love. They are a happy, comfortable, loving people. She said Salem has always been the closest place to Heaven on earth. Lynn was a wonderful man and hard worker. She is so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the guidance it has given her and Lynn, their children and their families for such a wonderful happy life. Aylene, as you prepare to move fromy your beautiful Salem to be closer to family, we know Salem will still be in your thoughts as well.
Salem City Newsletter,